Towers Bay (Split Apple Beach)
- Beaches & Bays
Otherwise known as ‘Split Apple Rock Beach’, Towers Bay is located between Marahau and Kaiteriteri near the Abel Tasman National Park.
The bay is accessible via boat, kayak or paddleboard, as well as via a short 15-minute walking track. Unlike many of the other beaches along the Abel Tasman coastline, the main calling card for visitors to Towers Bay is not the glorious golden sands, but rather the dramatic rock formation that lay off the coast.
Split Apple Rock (Toka Ngawhā) is one of the region’s most notable ‘rockstars’, perched atop a rocky reef not far from the shore. Many stories surround how the giant boulder was split in half – scientists believe this was a result of ice wedging when water froze within the cracks of the rock causing it to expand and split, whilst Maori legend has it that the boulder was broken when two feuding Gods could not agree on who would possess the rock.
Scenic boat tours, waka journeys and kayaking trips all include a visit to Split Apple Rock, although the beach itself remains relatively uncrowded. Photographers have been known to walk down to Towers Bay for sunset or sunrise, to capture that picture-perfect shot as the sun shines through the middle of the rock.
Photo credits: (1) Kaiteriteri Kayaks, (2-3) www.nelsontasman.nz, (4) Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle